Well, we did it! Night one down and mama is the only one suffering from the sleep deprivation associated with such a big transition, the toddler is fine. Last night Immy slept in a brand new, sparkly, shiny BIG girl bed. And you know what, overall it went quite well.
When she first went to bed, there were two incidents of getting out of bed and coming out of her room, and probably two more of getting out of bed and having a little play in her room (all within the first half an hour) but a *ahem* gentle reminder from Dad 101 that her cot was still there and she may just have to sleep back in it if she couldn’t go to sleep in her big girl bed, and that was enough to get her settled. Admittedly, she did wake and get out of bed a little earlier than I had hoped but as the time on the clock started with a ‘6,’ it wasn’t so bad.
Although I realise that one night is just a small step in this particular journey (and therefore I won’t be cracking the champagne with cheers of ‘We did it!’ just yet), I think there were a couple of preparations that we made which have helped this transition;
- We have been talking about a big girl bed for about three months now. Immy came shopping to help choose the bed and her own bedspread. She was prepared and excited (in fact, she wanted to go to bed as soon as possible!) but not so overexcited that it became a problem, I think this is because we had been preparing for so long.
- We waited. When I was directing a child care centre, I once had an infant/child sleep specialist tell me that waiting until a child was nearly 3 years of age was a good thing. Immy turns 3 in a months time and I am glad that we waited as she is that little bit older and can be reasoned with a little more. We were fortunate that Immy never tried to climb out of her cot (she wore a sleeping bag) and as we did not need it for another baby, we had the luxury of waiting.
- We have recently been focusing on getting back to basics when settling Immy, to help her be calm, relax and fall asleep. We have a clear naptime and bedtime routine which we very, very rarely deviate from. Simply because that is what works for us.
- We left the cot up in her room, and will probably leave it there for the next week, just as a “reminder” that it is there as we attempt to develop the new habits and behaviours necessary to go to sleep in a normal bed.
- I was worried about Immy rolling out of her bed, so we actually tucked her top sheet in sideways, so that we had more fabric to tuck under the mattress, ensuring that she was securely tucked in. We also made sure that there were no other items of furniture alongside the bed that she would bang into if she did roll out.
I suppose the biggest hurdle to overcome, is the fact that she can now get out of bed and come out of the room or play in her room (in fact, I have a friend whose four year old boy used to get up at 3am and do puzzles and play games in his room!) I am hoping that by being calm and consistent and putting her straight back into bed, right from the beginning, that this does not become too much of a problem. But we’ll see! Now this mama, who’s love and concern kept her up half the night, is off for a Nanna nap 🙂
What was your experience, moving your child from a cot into a bed? Any tips, especially for getting them to stay in bed???